MANILA (UPDATE) — The Philippines has detected 924 more cases of COVID-19's highly transmissible omicron subvariants BA.5, BA.4, and BA.2.12.1, the Department of Health said Tuesday.
Government found 906 additional cases of the omicron BA.5, 11 more cases of the BA.4, and 7 new cases of the BA.2.12.1, according to DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire.
The latest figures raise the country's total to 4,013 BA.5 cases, 181 BA.2.12.1 cases, and 115 BA.4 cases, Vergeire said.
Of the 906 new BA.5 cases, a total of 814 have recovered, while 49 were undergoing isolation. The status of the remaining 43 patients was being verified, according to Vergeire.
All of the 11 new BA.4 cases and of the 7 new BA.2.12.1 have recovered, according to the DOH OIC.
Nine of the new BA.4 cases were fully vaccinated while the inoculation status of the 2 patients was being verified, Vergeire said.
Of the additional BA.2.12.1 cases, 6 were fully vaccinated while the inoculation status of the remaining patient was being verified, Vergeire added.
The exposure and travel histories of all patients have yet to be identified, according to the DOH OIC.
The Philippines last week recorded its first 2 cases of the omicron BA.2.75 subvariant who are from Western Visayas, the DOH said.
The subvariant, dubbed "Centaurus" due to its rapid spread, is more transmissible than other sublineages and is likely to have high immune evasion, Vergeire earlier said.
The DOH identified 7 close contacts of the BA.2.75 cases, all of whom were without symptoms and have finished quarantine, according to the DOH OIC.
A total of 71.9 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated as of Monday, Vergeire said. Of the total figure, 16.6 million have received an additional dose, while 1.5 million have received a second booster, she added.
4 REGIONS NEARING MODERATE OCCUPANCY RATE
The Philippines recorded 27,982 new cases or an average of 3,997 per day from Aug. 2 to 8, according to Vergeire. This is a 13-percent increase from the previous week or the same level of cases during the second week of February this year, she said.
The country remains "low risk" for COVID-19 even as Metro Manila and the Cordilleras have been classified as "moderate risk," Vergeire said.
The continuous rise of COVID-19 cases has increased hospital utilization rate in some regions, with Bangsamoro reaching "moderate risk" while Calabarzon, Western Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, and Davao region are nearing the threshold, Vergeire added.
"Even though the utilization in hospital in some areas has increased, it is still manageable and we can still expand our beds so that makaka-access pa rin po ang mga kababayan natin," she said.
(Even though the utilization in hospital in some areas has increased, it is still manageable and we can still expand our beds so that the public can still access these.)